NFL's all-time scorer will suit up at Indy on Sunday

Updated: September 10, 2003, 9:48 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

He's back. Again.

Place kicker Gary Anderson, the NFL's all-time leading scorer, on Wednesday agreed to contract terms with the Tennessee Titans, and will be in uniform Sunday for the team's game at Indianapolis, club sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

The 44-year-old Anderson, essentially talked out from retirement for the second season in a row, replaces Joe Nedney, who tore a knee ligament in Sunday night's victory over the Oakland Raiders and who will be sidelined the entire season.

Financial details of the contract Anderson will sign were not immediately available. But given the Titans' salary cap squeeze, being less than $500,000 under the spending limit, it is believed he signed for the veteran minimum of $755,000, prorated over the rest of the season.

Tennessee becomes the fifth team for which Anderson has kicked. He spent the past five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and was also with Pittsburgh (1982-94), Philadelphia (1995-96) and San Francisco (1998-2002). The 21-year veteran began the '02 season at home, but after Doug Brien struggled early in the campaign, the Vikings put out an emergency call to him.

Anderson kicked in 14 games last season, converting 18 of 23 field goal attempts and all but one of his 37 extra point tries.

"We feel like Gary is the best available kicker and that we couldn't afford to take a chance with a younger player," said Titans general manager Floyd Reese.

While he never formally announced his retirement this spring, the consensus around the league was that Anderson would not be signed by any teams. But the injury to Nedney precipitated a move by the Titans, and one reason Anderson acquiesced when asked to audition was the team's Super Bowl potential.

He won the job over veteran free agents Brett Conway and Neil Rackers. The former was in camp with Indianapolis this summer, the latter with the Cincinnati Bengals.

For his career, Anderson has scored 2,223 points and gone over the 100-point mark in 13 seasons. He has connected on 494 of 619 field goal tries and 741 of 747 extra points. The one caveat with Anderson is that his leg strength, never among the best in the league even in his most successful seasons, has continued to wane.

The former Syracuse standout can no longer handle kickoff duties and, over the past four years, he has made just 21 of 34 field goal attempts of 40 yards or more. In that period, he has converted just one field goal of 50 or more yards. It is likely that punter Craig Hentrich, who had three field goals Sunday night after replacing Nedney, will be used by Titans coach Jeff Fisher for longer field-goal attempts.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.